Basalisk

I told you I had a basalisk.

Don't be alarmed though. This little guy is a pampered pet. I didn't include any scale in the image, but he's completely tame, and about knee-high. (He does have a tendency to jump up though, particularly if you're holding food. ) In his world, the pseudo-millitary elite have a bad habit of keeping extremely dangerous animals as pets. As this is a feudal society, each of the lords tries to one-up each other at this. Basalisks are the most recent fad.

Pet basilisks can be made 'safe' by attaching a permant hood to the head and covers to the worst of the spines. (The head and back spines are springy, somewhat like pine needles. So long as you rub them the right way, petting a basalisk can actually be sort of pleasant.) These hood and covers are of course opululent, underscoring the wealth of the basalisk's owner. The exact coloring and jewels involved in basalisk covers have historically been used to send political invitations, insults, and other information in a subtle and plausibly deniable manner.

Artistically, this was just fun. I set myself the moderate challenge of drawing a reasonably functional six-legged creature in motion, and I'm really pleased with how that turned out. I particularly like the feet: the one in front reminds me of how small showdogs with overlarge paws will fling the paw out in almost a snap-the-whip motion. Overall, I think I nailed the 'cute but dangerous' vibe. It was also nice to do a piece with lots of scales again. For a few years in highschool, I did at least one fully-scaled dragon a day.